With Christmas approaching rapidly, the question many people will be asking themselves is what present do they buy for the car fan in the family. Here are some great Christmas present ideas and you don’t have to break the bank, or sell your car, to afford them.
A calendar is always a good way to please a car fan and there’s a great selection out there. But there’s one name that tops the lot where petrolheads are concerned: Top Gear. Its 2016 calendar is decent quality for £8.99 and there’s a great mix of recognisable supercars and crazy stunts that have featured on the show – but no pictures of Clarkson, Hammond and May. Slightly more off the wall is the Personalised Ferrari Edition Calendar. From £9.99 for an A5 desk calendar, it gives you the opportunity to put your own personalised registration number on a selection of mouth-watering motors. You can buy the Lewis Hamilton supporter in your life a signed calendar of the F1 world champ for £5.99. Anyone buying for an old-school Formula One fan, however, will have to pay £25 for the classic F1 calendar (below).
Car cleaning kit
Real car fans love keeping their car in tip-top condition. And there is a vast array of car cleaning kits out there that make great Christmas presents. The Autoglym Perfect Bodywork Gift Collection features shampoo, polish and protector. It costs £22.49. The Meguiars New Car Kit for £39.99 features shampoo and wax plus applicator mitts and drying cloth. If you want something a little more affordable, £10 will buy the Halfords Standard Car Wash Kit with wash and wax, polish, wheel cleaner plus sponge, applicator and wheel brush. All are available online or at motor retailers.
Other than being built in Britain, about all the Aston Martin DB9, Mini Cooper S, original Mini and London taxi have in common is that they’re available as a wireless computer mouse. Prices for a generic sports car-shaped mouse start at £13.99 but any model that’s recognisable and you’re paying around £33.99. Various Aston Martins, BMWs and even a Lamborghini Aventador mouse are priced from £29.99.
Buying the car fan you love something to wear that demonstrates their allegiance to a favourite racing driver, car or team is always a winning idea. You can get a series of generic T-shirts depicting cars, motoring products and race tracks from £14.99 at Café Press. For the more mature enthusiast, Hot Fuel offers a host of retro designs of cars, teams, circuits and drivers from £16.99. And for motor racing fans who have a very specific interest, particularly in F1 from the 1970s, 80s and 90s, check out RetroGP, where nostalgia on a T-shirt (above) costs from £24.95.
Mobile phone holder
A great gift to keep drivers safe and legal is a mobile phone holder, which make it easier to conduct a hands-free call. There are a vast array out there and many are phone specific. For a huge variety go to MobileFun. Alternatively, Maplin has a selection. Prices vary but you’ll find something between £5 and £15. According to an Auto Express phone holder test, the £11.99 Arkon Slim Grip Ultra (below) was a good choice when it came to holding a variety of phones.
Slot car racing set
Computer games might be amazingly realistic but nothing beats the three dimensional experience of physically racing objects around a track. And there’s a vast range out there. Scalextric is the original and this year it’s revealed a Spectre version, based on the James Bond film. It costs £129.99 including track plus an Aston Martin DB10 and Jaguar C-X75. But there are plenty of alternatives. The £120 Carrera Evolution LaFerrari for example is a high quality kit with beautifully-made cars and a track that feels like it’s been built to last. One high-tech option is the £149.99 Anki Overdrive. This uses a mobile phone app as a controller and combines the notion of mobile gaming with a physical track and cars. The only downside is, every player needs to have a smartphone.